Chalk-manner etching and engraving printed in color
Support: Antique laid blue paper
Sheet: 30 x 39.8 cm (11 13/16 x 15 11/16 in.); Platemark: 27.3 x 36.7 cm (10 3/4 x 14 7/16 in.)
James Parmelee Fund 2006.182
Catalogue raisonné: Herold 17, state I/V
For his aristocratic patrons, Boucher made numerous paintings of intriguing female nudes, thinly veiled as Roman goddesses lounging in luxury. Bonnet’s color chalk-manner prints of similar subjects offered middle-class buyers sumptuous yet affordable versions of Boucher’s wildly popular images. Here, a tiny cupid pleads with Venus for his quiver of arrows as she gazes teasingly at the viewer. Their feathered ends simultaneously conceal and draw attention to her nudity. With cupid’s arrows in her control, it is Venus—rather than cupid—who has the power to arouse feelings of love.
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